To raise a Levy we must consult with the construction industry to gain industry support for the proposals for the next Levy Order. We need to show that there is this support every three years. This process is known as Consensus. Consensus is not an election or vote on the future of CITB, it is a say on how CITB will generate Levy over the next three years.
Consensus was due to take place last summer. With the onset of COVID-19, we spoke to employers, industry groups and stakeholders and many suggested that they wanted us to focus full-time on helping the industry meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. The Board took the decision to postpone the Consensus process and seek a one-year 2021 Levy Order for this year’s Levy assessments at reduced Levy rates in recognition that industry needed immediate support. We sought views from across industry on our plans for the months ahead and submitted our Strategic Plan 2021-25 to the Department for Education (DfE), along with our proposal for the one-year 2021 Levy Order.
On 24 February the Board met to consider whether it is the right time to revert to the normal Consensus process to enable CITB to raise the Levy for 2022-25.
We’ve had clear feedback from industry, including each of the 14 Prescribed Organisations, that we should proceed with running Consensus this year. Having considered the views of our industry stakeholders, the Board unanimously confirmed that now was the time to re-establish the Consensus process.
You can read more about the Consensus process here
We are now planning for Consensus to take place this summer from 14 June-15 August, to measure support for the Levy Proposals 2022-25.
Consulting on the Levy Proposals 2022-25
In preparation for Consensus, we ran a industry-wide consultation on the draft Levy Proposals 2022-25. This consultation was opened from 1 March-11 April 2021. This is an important part of the Consensus process:
- Feedback from this consultation will be analysed and fed into the final Levy Proposals by the Levy Strategy Committee
- These Levy Proposals will then go to the CITB Board to approve
- The Levy Proposals 2022-25 will be announced to industry and support for these Levy Proposals will be measured at Consensus in the summer.
At the same time as consulting with employers on the draft Levy Proposals, we will also be seeking views on our plans to provide enhanced funding support for ten areas of industry need that have been identified through our evidence base and agreed with the three Nation Councils. The ten areas feature in our Business Plan 2020-21. Employers' views on this will help shape these priorities and how they’re developed and supported over the next few months.
Over the next four years, we forecast Levy will be reduced by over 30% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, so this feedback is important to make sure that Levy is directed to where it can make a real difference to the industry.